Turkey: Show trials of journalists are a travesty of justice

first_img RSF_en News April 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation This week, ARTICLE 19 and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are monitoring two trials of journalists in Turkey. News September 19, 2017 Turkey: Show trials of journalists are a travesty of justice News Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe Follow the news on Turkey to go further Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts April 28, 2021 Find out more On Monday 18 September they attended the first hearing in the trial of 30 journalists, columnists and staff working for Zaman newspaper, including Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Alkan Turan and Mümtazer Türköne. Today, on Tuesday 19 September, they are attending the second hearing in the case of 17 journalists and columnists including Ahmet and Mehmet Altan. ARTICLE 19 and RSF call for the journalists to be released from pre-trial detention and for the charges to be dropped. In both trials, the defendants are accused of involvement in last year’s failed coup. They face charges of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order through violence or force”, “attempting to overthrow or interfere with the work of the national assembly through violence or force” and “attempting to overthrow or interfere with the work of the government”. In the Zaman case, the defendants are also charged with membership of a terrorist organisation, which refers to the Gülen movement, the organisation the Turkish government blames for the coup attempt. In the Altans’ case, the defendants are charged with aiding a terrorist organisation without being a member, which carries the same sentence as membership. In both cases, the defendants face three aggravated life sentences. Most of them have already been in pre-trial detention for between 12 and 14 months. In neither case does the indictment include specific allegations of direct involvement in the coup itself or of incitement to violence. In the Zaman indictment, the prosecutor claims that the defendants sought to create a public perception favourable to the coup. The indictment does not establish clear and individualised evidence against the defendants. On the contrary, it states that the articles do not contain individual crime elements, but reflect the editorial policy of Zaman newspaper, which was allegedly determined by Fethullah Gülen, the religious leader of the Gülen movement. It is argued that this demonstrates they were part of a terrorist network. No attempt has been made in the indictment to explain how newspaper articles or columns constitute violence or force. In the Altans’ case, the indictment outlines a number of columns or articles written by the defendants which express views critical of the government, in addition to a television interview in which the prosecutor claims they gave subliminal messages in support of the coup. Apart from this, some circumstantial evidence about contact they had with alleged members of the Gülen movement is included. ARTICLE 19 and RSF, along with a number of other international human rights or press freedom organisations, monitored the first hearing of the Altans’ trial in June 2017. ARTICLE 19 submitted an expert opinion to the court, which outlined how the charges against the defendants do not comply with international standards on the right to freedom of expression. The opinion further concluded that these cases appear to be politically motivated. In addition to the groundless charges, ARTICLE 19 and RSF are concerned about undue pressure on human rights lawyers. Veysel Ok, the lead defence lawyer for Ahmet Altan and Şahin Alpay, is also on trial this week in a separate case where he is charged with “insulting Turkishness” and “insulting the judiciary” based on an interview he gave in 2015 where he criticised the Turkish justice system, stating that the judges lacked independence. Another human rights lawyer, Orhan Kemal Cengiz, is a defendant in the Zaman newspaper case. His name only appears once in the indictment and no evidence is cited against him. He was the lawyer representing the Zaman case at the Constitutional Court and also wrote columns for Today’s Zaman. Both cases represent show trials aimed at silencing dissent and alternative viewpoints, particularly criticism of the government. In both cases, ARTICLE 19 and RSF call for the journalists to be released and for the charges to be dropped in the absence of individualised evidence of involvement in an internationally recognised crime. Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor News TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe April 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Council Agenda: No to Rolling Chairs? Yes to Corson’s Boardwalk?

first_imgRed line indicates existing rail trail at Corson’s Inlet State Park.City Council has a full agenda for its public meeting 7 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 14) at City Hall, but here are a handful of items that might be of special interest:Boardwalk Rolling Chair Ban: Ocean City recently received an inquiry from a company interested in operating a rolling chair business like Atlantic City’s. But Police Chief Chad Callahan recommended against adding rolling chairs to an already chaotic mix on the summer boardwalk. City Council will consider the first reading of an amended ordinance prohibiting the use of rolling chairs on streets, alleys and the boardwalk in Ocean City.Corson’s Inlet State Park Boardwalk: City Council will consider a resolution that would approve of Ocean City co-signing an application for permits to build a small boardwalk connecting paved streets at 59th Street and West Avenue with an existing gravel rail trail in Corson’s Inlet State Park. The rail trail currently dead-ends in the marshes about 300 feet shy of Ocean City. The project would be on state property and funded by the state, but because it crosses rights of way controlled by Ocean City, the city’s support is necessary.Prettier Pilings: City Council will consider the first reading of an ordinance that would require “more aesthetically pleasing” screening of exposed structural pilings for elevated homes.Zoning Flood Elevation: City Council will consider another change to required elevation for new or substantially reconstructed homes. An ordinance proposes to measure “zoning flood elevation” from the bottom of the floor joists (and not from the top of the finished first floor). The change would help the city comply with “Community Rating System” requirements that help determine flood insurance discounts for communities as a whole.Return of the Community Services Department: City Council will consider re-establishing the Department of Community Services, which was merged last year into a new Department of Community Operations in a structural reorganization.For supporting documentation on all agenda items, see the agenda packet below:Download (PDF, 2.24MB)last_img read more

Critical Ops hits 22 million downloads and opens office in South Korea

first_imgCritical Ops is not always the first name that comes to mind when considering mobile esports, but it’s certainly gaining traction around the world. Critical Force, the game developer has revealed that its mobile esports title has now reached the 22 million download landmark and has opened a South Korean office as it sets its sights firmly on the Asian market.For those unaware, Critical Ops is a mobile competitive first person shooter (FPS). The developer remains confident that it can breakthrough into the wonderful world of esports. It’s been soft launched on Android and iOS and statistics such as 22 million downloads and 800,000 daily users are most definitely impressive. “22 million downloads is a fantastic thing for us especially because this has been achieved completely without paid user acquisition”, said CEO of Critical Force Veli-Pekka Piirainen. He continued: “This achievement is highly unusual in the modern mobile games industry where paid user acquisition is the norm. We have achieved our scale and virality through active community management and by having a high-quality game.”Now, the Finnish game developer has set its sights on the Asian market. In partnership with investor NHN Entertainment, Critical Force has opened an office in South Korea as it aims to establish a foothold in Asia, and will work on developing games well suited to the Asian market. There will also be three game developers moving swapping the hustle and bustle of Seoul for tranquil Kajaani. “We have a vastly different work culture here in Finland than in Asia. It is a positive challenge for us”, said CEO of Critical Force Veli-Pekka Piirainen. “In addition to the different work culture the biggest difference is the very different living environment. The quietness of Kajaani is in stark contrast to the bustling Seoul. Busy streets, bright lights and something cool on every street corner versus the quietness, forests, lakes and clean air of Kajaani are very striking differences. Also the much praised Finnish education system is important for the families moving to Kajaani.”Esports Insider says: The Asian mobile market is Critical Force’s next target. It’ll be interesting to see how the opening of the South Korean office goes and the expansion into an intriguing market works out. Congratulations as well on the 22 million landmark as mobile esports continues to grow.last_img read more